Home has taken on a whole new meaning as of late. It has transformed into a haven, a classroom, a workout studio, an office, and everything in between. As we spend more time at home than ever, we’ve learned a thing or two about the four walls around us.
For some of us, the pandemic has reminded us of all the reasons we fell in love with our homes. And for others, it has revealed all the reasons why it may be time to move on. Here’s how COVID-19 has impacted what we want from our homes.
Home Offices Have Become a Necessity
As telecommuting becomes more commonplace, so is the need for quiet, distraction-free spaces. These rooms or areas have become essential during the pandemic, helping with productivity and providing a more distinct separation between work and home life. So, for those lacking a designated work space, home offices have shot their way to the top of the checklist.
Outdoor Space Is a Plus
Social distancing has made it more difficult to experience the outdoors like we normally would, which is why the desire for private outdoor space has become so prevalent. Whether it comes in the form of a yard, balcony, or terrace, outdoor space is a major draw for homebuyers. And for those with a little more space, front porches have the added benefit of increasing social interactions between neighbors during warmer months.
Healthy Materials Are Desirable
While there was demand for new construction before the pandemic, more homebuyers may start looking to new construction – as well as renovation projects – for features that promote healthy and sustainable living. These include high quality filtration systems for air and water; indoor air quality monitoring; germ-resistant, anti-microbial countertops and flooring; smart toilets; self-sanitizing door handles; and health monitoring systems for homeowners.
Flex Space Sounds Nice
With fitness routines impacted by gym closures and class cancellations, people have switched to at-home workout regimens. As buyers embark on their search, they’re most likely going to look for homes that will help them maintain their current lifestyle. For some, that means space for a home gym that can also be converted for other uses is an extremely attractive feature.
If you’re ready to take the next step on your home buying journey, contact Maureen who can help you check off all your boxes.
Whether you have a significant home project planned for the coming year, you’re looking to refresh your home with some design tweaks, or you’re updating your house to sell, selecting paint colors, decor styles, and new pieces can be overwhelming. Updating your home is important aesthetically, and also impacts the overall feel and function of the atmosphere. Get inspired to refresh your home for a new decade by incorporating 2020 design trends throughout the space.
Paint Color Trends
Invoking feelings of relaxation
Every year, the major paint retailers announce their colors of the year — the colors they anticipate will be prevalent throughout home design choices. The 2020 color choices share the same theme: tones that will make you feel relaxed, grounded, and restored at home.
Soft rose – Benjamin Moore’s Color Trends 2020 palette “delivers modern paint color pairings that combine optimism with understatement, a timeless way to lighten up.” Their color of the year is First Light, a soft rose hue that “reflects a new definition of the home – a shift in mindset from the material to satisfying the core needs in life: community, comfort, security, self-expression, authenticity and ultimately, optimism,” according to the retailer.
Rich navy — Sherwin-Williams’ 2020 Color of the Year is Naval, a rich navy hue that strikes a balance between calm and confident. As a versatile neutral, Naval creates a grounded space that ushers restfulness and tranquility into the home, according to the company.
“The use of color in interior design is changing. It’s not just about what a space looks like anymore, but how it makes you feel,” said Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. “People want to feel grounded and inspired to pursue their mental, physical and emotional well-being. Naval is reminiscent of the night sky, which people have looked to for centuries for guidance, as a muse and as a reminder to live more mindfully.”
Organic green — Behr’s 2020 Color of the Year is Back to Nature, an organic shade of green meant to purify and promote balance at home. “Back to Nature is a restorative and revitalizing green hue that engages the senses and pairs well with other colors both inside and outside your home,” according to the company.
Home Decor Trends
Investing in quality and bringing back the past
Invest in quality pieces — With a rise in direct to consumer companies, investing in quality furniture pieces at a lower price point is easier than ever. As the Marie Kondo effect continues to infiltrate our lives, buying fewer items of higher quality remains a theme that will carry into the new decade. Companies like Interior Define or Maiden Home sell beautiful, high-quality, custom furniture, at reasonable price points.
Ditch the accent wall — Whether it’s a single painted or wallpapered wall, 2020 is the time to expand the color or pattern to the remaining three walls. Leave the single accent wall in the previous decade and create a more cohesive and finished space by unifying the four walls. To boost the impact, extend color or pattern to the fifth wall, aka the ceiling. Painting or wallpapering the ceiling creates a jewel-box like effect and will make the space extra special.
Consider dark hues a new neutral — As Sherwin-Williams selected Naval as their 2020 Color of the Year, dark, rich colors will be used as a neutral in the year ahead. Pale grays and whites will step aside in favor of darker, cozier tones.
Home Technology Trends
Controlling your home from your smartphone
Home automation — Automating your home isn’t going anywhere, and 2020 will see an increased prevalence of homes turning into smart homes. Whether you want to make sure your garage door is closed after you’re several miles away, preheat the oven on your commute home from work, or adjust the lighting based on when you plan on arriving home, the ability to control these tasks on a smartphone will become more mainstream.
Home Wellness Trends
Creating an atmosphere of wellness
Sparking joy through self-care — Self-care will continue to play an important role in the coming year. Home is the best place to put this into effect. Whether that is lighting candles, eliminating clutter, displaying fresh flowers, or investing in hygge-inspired throw blankets, the small details throughout the house are what can make the most significant impact on how you feel in your home.
Alright, so you’ve picked up the frozen turkey and the usual staples — stuffing, pickled beets, and the like — but what’s for dessert? The relatives are arriving in just a few days but you’re still wrapping up projects at work, preparing the house, and there’s simply no time to add another item to the laundry list of things to cook for the big holiday feast.
Fortunately, Chicago boasts a reputable lineup of highly rated and beloved pie shops. From classic to eclectic, these sweet purveyors of delectable desserts will not only save you precious time during the Thanksgiving crunch, but may even save the day.
Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits
For the boutique take on homemade classics, look no further than Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits. With locations in Logan Square and Ravenswood, North Siders have options for a pre-Thanksgiving pickup. To keep things simple for Thanksgiving, Bang Bang is only offering five pie varieties: apple, pumpkin, chocolate pecan, key lime, and chocolate caramel. Hurry and place your orders though, as Bang Bang is already gearing up for the holiday rush.
Hoosier Mama Pie Company
With locations in Chicago’s West Town community and Evanston, Hoosier Mama specializes in seasonal pie selections made from scratch. Making fresh pastries and desserts daily, Hoosier Mama offers 10 varieties of sweet pies every single day. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving orders for the Evanston location are closed, so you might be better off arriving first thing in the morning to grab what is readily available.
Bittersweet Pastry Shop
If you’re really looking to impress your guests, consider grabbing a picture-perfect pie from this Lakeview bakery. Seriously though, take a look yourself — Bittersweet’s pies truly are magazine-quality pieces of confection-perfection. Thankfully, there is a spread of different pie, cake, and cookie options available for Thanksgiving orders. For those who want to go all out, consider the equally impressive and adorable Thanksgiving gingerbread house.
Jimmy Jamm Sweet Potato Pies
Nothing says Thanksgiving like turkey and sweet potato pie. If you’re located in or around Beverly, you’re in luck as this beloved staple offers a plethora of pie options — so long as sweet potato is the main ingredient. An old school spot, it doesn’t have an online order form or directions for calling orders in. Instead, you might want to just swing by the store as soon as you can and see if there’s any unclaimed pies waiting for you.
Justice of the Pies
When you order your Thanksgiving dessert from Justice of the Pies, you can not only feel good knowing that you’ve got a delicious baked dish coming your way, but also know that you’re doing good by supporting a mission-based business. All of the bases are covered when it comes to classic varieties: orders are open and available for pumpkin, sweet potato, key lime, and several others. And in the meanwhile, you can drool over the pie pictures posted to their Instagram.
Sweet Mandy B’s
The old fashioned pies and desserts from Lincoln Park’s Sweet Mandy B’s are sure to delight holiday guests. After feasting on turkey and stuffing, try snacking on a sweet apple-cherry streusel, banana cream pie, or pumpkin cheesecake. Or maybe cap off dessert with one of Sweet Mandy B’s classic cupcakes.
The kitchen is undoubtedly one of the busiest areas in the home during the holiday season. Between being the site of delicious meal preparations to hosting your family and friends, it is sure to see a fair amount of foot traffic over the next few months. As you begin mentally preparing for the busyness of the holidays, make sure to give your kitchen a little love. Quick and easy fixes to get your kitchen ready for the holidays include swapping out old linens for new ones, clearing off unnecessary counter clutter and adding stylish and functional pieces throughout the room.
Here are some of our favorite items for sprucing up your kitchen for the holidays:
Place small appetizers or the main course on a platter that will wow your guests and complement your food. Look for unique colors and textures to add more interest to the dish’s overall presentation.
- Crate & Barrel – Marin Matte Black Oval Serving Platter
- Macy’s – Matisse Blue 15.85” Serving Platter
- Birch Lane – Jepsen Oval Platter
Salt and Pepper Sets
Salt and pepper sets make it easy to add that pinch of salt or dash of pepper. They are also a small but simple way to accessorize your countertops without adding too much clutter.
- Target – Thirstystone Marble Salt and Pepper Pinch Set
- Crate & Barrel – Hayes Marble and Wood Salt and Pepper Set
- Williams Sonoma – Marble & Copper Salt Keeper
Wood Cutting Board
Whether you use it to prepare food or as a rustic charcuterie board, a wood cutting board is a subtle and durable accent piece. Be sure to look up proper care techniques, as some woods may require maintenance for lasting function.
- Crate & Barrel – Teardrop Acacia Wood Serving Board
- West Elm – Marble + Wood Cutting Board
- Sur La Table – Mango Wood Board
Protect your countertops and dining room table with a trivet suitable for the hottest of dishes. Marble is a versatile material and has alternative uses as a cheese board or as a stylish place to organize cooking oils, seasonings or a vase of flowers on your countertop.
- Target – Thirstystone Marble Trivet
- Crate & Barrel – French Kitchen Marble/Graphite Trivet
- Food52 – Marble & Metal Trivet
Swapping out your kitchen linens is an inexpensive and quick way to refine your space. Opt for neutral linens with stripes to add an understated accent to your kitchen.
- World Market – Black Villa Stripe Kitchen Towel
- Crate & Barrel – Farmhouse Grey Stripe Dish Towels
- Magnolia – Camille Cotton Striped Kitchen Towels